The hurricane expected to turn into a massive post-tropical storm will bring hurricane-force winds, torrential rain and big waves to Atlantic Canada, meteorologists said Friday, warning that it is likely to be one of the most intense in the country’s history. .
Hurricane Fiona, which has weakened slightly to a Category 3 storm, was expected to make landfall in eastern Nova Scotia early Saturday morning, according to the Canadian Hurricane Center, which issued a hurricane watch over swathes of the coast in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward. Island and Newfoundland.
In a warning early Friday evening, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Fiona’s eye would approach Nova Scotia late Friday, and move into the Gulf of St. Lawrence by Saturday. It will arrive in the Labrador Sea late on Sunday.
“Fiona is expected to be a strong hurricane-force as it moves across Atlantic Canada,” NHC wrote, adding that some areas of Atlantic Canada could experience a “serious storm.”
As of 5 p.m. EDT Friday, the NHC said Fiona has maximum sustained winds of 125 mph. Its epicenter was about 370 miles southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, heading northeast at 40 mph.
NHC reports that Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and western Newfoundland may receive 3 to 6 inches of rain from Fiona. Labrador and eastern Quebec can get 2 to 5 inches tall.
“This will definitely be one of the tropical cyclones, if not the strongest, affecting our part of the country,” said Ian Hubbard, a meteorologist at the Canadian Hurricane Center in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. “It would definitely be severe and as bad as anything I’ve seen.”
Authorities in Nova Scotia sent an emergency alert to phones warning of Fiona’s arrival and urging people to say what’s inside, avoid coasts, charge devices and get enough supplies for at least 72 hours. Officials warned of prolonged power outages, wind damage to trees and structures, coastal flooding and possible road erosion.
A hurricane warning was in effect for Nova Scotia from Hubbards to Brule; Prince Edward Island; Isla de la Madeleine; and Newfoundland from Parson Pond to François.
People across Atlantic Canada were stocking up on last-minute necessities and battling their belongings the Friday before arriving.
At the Samsons Enterprises boat dock in the small Acadian community of Petit-de-Grat on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Jordan David was helping his friend Kyle Boudreaux tying his “Bad Influence” lobster boat, hoping it wouldn’t be lifted and broken by the wind.
“All we can do is hope for the best and prepare as best we can. Something is coming, and the extent of the damage is yet to be determined,” David said, wearing his waterproof outdoor gear.
Kyle Boudreaux said he was worried.
“This is our livelihood. Our boats are wrecked, our traps are smashed…it’s things you don’t have to start your season next year,” he said.
Hurricanes in Canada are fairly rare, in part because once storms hit cold water, they lose their main source of energy. and become extratropical. But these hurricanes still have strong hurricane winds, despite the cold rather than the warm core and the lack of a visible eye. Its shape can also be different. They lose their symmetrical shape and can resemble a comma.
Bob Rubishod, a weather forecaster for warning preparedness at the Canadian Hurricane Center, said at a press conference that modeling predicts low pressure “all the time” across the region, which will result in storms and rainfall of between 10 to 20 centimeters (4 to 8 inches). .
Amanda McDougall, mayor of Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said officials were preparing a shelter for people to enter before the storm arrived.
“We’ve had these kinds of events before, but my fear wasn’t that much,” she said. “The effects will be significant, real and immediate.”
Dave Pickles, chief operating officer of Nova Scotia Power, said he expects widespread blackouts.
Fiona has so far been blamed for at least five deaths – two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one on the French island of Guadeloupe.
Hurricane Fiona was a Category 4 hurricaneAnd wind earlier on Friday. The authorities there opened shelters and closed schools and offices. Michael Weeks, the secretary of national security, said there were no reports of major damage.
Before reaching Bermuda, Fiona caused severe flooding and devastation in Puerto Rico, led by US President Joe BidenThe full power of the federal government is ready to help the US mainland recover.
“We’re all in this together,” Biden said, speaking briefly with FEMA officials in New York.
Mr. Biden noted that hundreds of FEMA and other federal officials are already on the ground in Puerto Rico, where Fiona has caused an island-wide blackout.
More than 60% of electricity customers remained without power on Thursday and a third of customers were without water, while local officials said they could not say when full service would be restored.
As of Friday, hundreds of people have arrivedIt remained isolated due to closed roads five days after the cyclone stormed the island. Frustration was building for people like Nancy Gallarza, who tried to enlist the help of crews who spotted her from afar.
“Everyone goes there,” she said, referring to crews at the bottom of the mountain helping others cut off by the storm. “No one comes here to see us. I worry about all the seniors in this community.”
At least five landslides covered the narrow road to her community in the steep mountains around the northern town of Caguas. The only way to reach the settlement was to climb up the thick mounds of mud, rocks, and debris left by Fiona, whose flood waters shook the foundations of neighboring houses with an earthquake-like force.
Luis Gonzalez, the municipal inspector for recovery and reconstruction, said at least eight of the 11 communities in Caguas were completely isolated.
It was one of at least six municipalities where their crews had not yet reached some areas. People there often rely on neighbors’ help, as they did in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm in 2017 that killed nearly 3,000 people.
Danciel Rivera arrived in rural Caguas with a church group and tried to spice up a little clown outfit.
“It’s very important in these moments,” he said, noting that people have not fully recovered from Hurricane Maria.
His huge clown shoes were crushed in the mud as he greeted the people, whose faces lit up as they smiled at him.
Meanwhile, NHCIn the Caribbean it could reach Florida by Monday, likely as a hurricane, and cause flash floods. In response to Tropical Depression 9, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency. The storm was expected to bring heavy rains to Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands before reaching southern Florida.